Apping My Way To Savings...Or Not?

3 years ago
Take a look at your phone right now and look to see how many "savings" apps you have on your phone.  Do you feel like you are getting great deals?  Do you love or loathe all of the apps out there today to save us a buck?  It seems like there is always something new and great coming out as a way to save money.  Since I am staying home with my baby this year I have found myself really trying to be conscious about my money and what could be a better way to save money then downloading all those wonderful money saving apps.

Here is how my typical run to Target went recently.  First I get myself and my baby all bundled up since we are having the toughest winters I can remember this year!  We pull into the parking lot of Target and I get myself, the baby, my list, and my smart phone in.  I walk in the door and turn on my Shop Kicks and hear the nice ding.  Sweet I got my Shop Kick Points!  I start on my list.  I pick up my produce and while I'm doing this I am getting signed into Target's wireless so I can access my Cartwheel with ease.  Great my Cartwheel is on and I check my produce to see if it is on sale as I am now standing blocking the aisle staring at my smart phone.  I see that my carrots are on sale for 5% off - how lucky.  Oh and I now see that avocados are also 5% off.  I really like avocados but they weren't on my list - I'll get them anyway.  This goes on throughout all of my grocery shopping.  I have now probably added 5 additional items to my cart that I did not plan on getting but it was such a good deal since I could save with Cartwheel.  I almost forgot to mention while I was Cartwheeling I was also scanning some items so I could get my Shop Kicks which resulted in me missing two things on my grocery list.  On my way back to get those two items I add another thing to my cart that I see on Cartwheel that "I just can't go without."  Onto the next section and I see there is a one day sale on sheets for 50% off.  Ohh I just can't miss an opportunity like this, into my cart go sheets - like I really need sheets!  I finally finish up my shopping and make my way to the front of the store.  I know have my Shop Kicks, my Cartwheel is loaded, my Red Card is in my hand for my extra 5% off.  My stuff starts ringing up I see my total.  My Cartwheel gets scanned and then my Red Card run.  It is now the moment of truth I have saved $15.13!  I feel this huge smile come across my face at my wonderful savings.  I get in my car and head home thinking about how great my apps are that I saved all that money.  I get home unload my car and pull out all the extras I bought.  My guess $20-$30 extra dollars on things I probably didn't need (will hopefully use) but it was such a deal! 
Those stores really know how to do it.  They get you in the door with all your new fangled apps and get you shopping thinking of what great deals you are getting.  If it isn't Cartwheel for me I may be pulling open my Retail Me Not or Coupons app to get my "deals".  I find myself going into more stores to get my "points." My shopping trips are now taking considerably longer as I spend so much time standing in aisles flipping through my "deals".  Time is money people!
So now considering how my last shopping trip went, will I continue to use my apps?  Yes for sure!  I just realize that I need to go out to the store with more of a plan so I can use them to my advantage.  They know how to play to my weakness - getting a good deal.  My goal for my next shopping trip (probably tomorrow let's be honest) is going and coming out with only my shopping list.  The apps didn't force me to spend more even though I'd like to place the blame elsewhere.  Next time I go out on one of my extravaganzas a plan will be in place (I hope)!  That way I can really feel good about my savings!

Do you use apps to save money while shopping?  Do you go shopping with a list?  Do you find yourself picking up extra items because they are on sale? 

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